Found a Baby Squirrel, What do I do?
You found a baby squirrel; now what? The first step is to check the creature out to see if it’s injured. Is the squirrel bleeding, or does it have any open wounds or broken bones? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then please contract us, we have animal experts on hand who will know how to treat it. If the baby squirrel doesn’t seem to be hurt and appears to weigh around a half a pound or more, then it might be able to survive on its own without its mom. Once a baby squirrel is eight or nine weeks old, it is no longer nursing from its mom and should be able to live in the wild.
Things to know when you find a baby Squirrel
Can it live on its own? - When does a baby squirrel not need human help? If a squirrel is able to scamper away from you, then it’s probably old enough to survive on its own. If you found a baby squirrel and decide to pick it up to see if it’s injured, put on thick leather gloves before handling it. Even a small squirrel can bite you hard enough to break the skin. If you come across a baby squirrel that weighs more than 6.5 ounces, it doesn’t need help. To determine whether a baby squirrel is mature enough to be on its own, inspect the tail. If it’s fluffed out, then it can survive without its mother. Baby squirrels that don’t fit these criteria still need their mothers. Scan for the nest in nearby trees. When you find it, set the baby inside an open box near the trunk of the tree. If it’s brisk outside, keep the baby warm with a slightly heated bag of rice or a hand warmer while it waits for its mom to come find it. Continue checking on the squirrel to see if the mom has found it and taken it back to her nest. If the mother doesn’t return, you can play distressed squirrel sounds like the ones found here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxr53i2lI8s I generally tell folks to play it on a continuous loop from your phone. You can place your phone near the babies box.
If, after several hours, she still doesn't retrieve the babies, you will need to call your local wildlife rehabilitator for instructions on what to do next.
Please DO NOT attempt to feed the babies, this can cause aspiration pneumonia and can kill them.
Don't Bring It Home for Rehabilitation
Whatever you decide to do, don’t bring the animal home to rehabilitate it. Squirrels seem like cute, cuddly animals. However, they are creatures that belong in the wild. If you keep it home around people, it may be tough for the squirrel to survive without you later. If you have doubts about whether the animal needs human help, then please contact us. Keep in mind that nature knows how to care for itself, and the baby may do fine without you. If it needs help, there are experts who will know what to do.
You found a baby squirrel; now what? If you’ve found a baby squirrel that seems too little to be on its own and you’re not sure of its condition, please contact us.